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NYO2 Application Information

NYO2 has a particular focus on attracting talented students from groups underserved by and underrepresented in the classical orchestral field. All application materials must be submitted using an online form administered by Acceptd, a service that provides a digital audition platform to many performing arts schools and programs. In order to start the NYO2 application, you will need to create an Acceptd account. (If you already have one, you can start a new application using your existing account.) Once you have created an Acceptd account, you will be able to save your progress at any time. If this is your first experience with an online digital audition service, we encourage you to allow enough time to upload and review the required application videos to make certain they represent your playing as effectively as possible.


A formal nomination from a teacher, ensemble director, school/band/orchestra administrator, or community leader is required as part of the application. NYO2 welcomes the nomination of musicians who have not had access to highly selective ensemble training opportunities through youth orchestra programs, summer festivals, camps, or similar experiences outside of their own communities.

Applications for NYO2 2022 are now closed.

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Other Ensembles

  • May 14, 2021: Audition excerpts posted for 2022 program; nomination form opens
  • September 9, 2021: Application officially opens
  • November 30, 2021: Deadline for nominations to be received by Carnegie Hall
  • December 15, 2021: Application deadline
  • January 3, 2022: Recommendation deadline
  • February 17, 2022: Applicants notified of status via email; audition feedback provided shortly thereafter
  • Mid-May 2022: Audition excerpts posted for 2023 program
  • July 2022: Program begins

NYO2 will be accepting applications for the 2022 season on all standard orchestra instruments, including the harp. Based on the repertoire, we do not anticipate accepting keyboard applications for the 2022 season.

  • Audition Videos (see below)
  • Personal Essay: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your experiences as a musician, and any educational or family background you may wish to share. Please also describe how participating in NYO2 would help you advance your personal or artistic goals. Suggested length is 200–300 words, though shorter or longer submissions will be accepted.
  • Recommendations: You will be asked to enter email addresses for two required references; a third is optional. Each reference will receive a link to an online recommendation form after you submit your completed application. Please note that this email will be sent directly from Acceptd (not Carnegie Hall or NYO2). Your references will have until January 3, 2022, to complete and submit their confidential recommendations. References who can address both your personal and musical qualities, such as your music teacher(s) and/or ensemble conductor(s), are preferred.

All applicants to NYO2 are required to record a series of videos that include the content outlined below. Each performance segment must be recorded in one take with no editing (though you may select the best of several takes). All videos must be recorded within eight months of the application deadline. Professional equipment and/or studio space is not necessary for a successful application to NYO2. With attention to a few details, your music making can be conveyed using readily available consumer electronics. Many past participants have recorded successful applications using iPhones or other smartphones. Please refer to our Video Guidelines for additional information and suggestions for effectively recording your audition.

Required Video Segments:

  • Introduction: Before performing your solo selection, please include a spoken introduction in which you state your name, instrument, hometown, and title of the solo work you have chosen.
  • Solo Piece: The solo piece can be any work of your choice, or a movement/section of a longer work, provided that it is approximately three minutes in duration. If the piece is longer than three minutes, you may record an excerpt or submit an unedited three-minute section from a longer recording. You may also use a recent solo recording if it meets the NYO2 audition requirements, but please record and upload the spoken introduction separately. You may perform your solo work with or without accompaniment.
  • Excerpts: Each instrument has two required orchestral excerpts. (Percussionists will be asked to play one excerpt on each of a few standard instruments.) Excerpts for the 2023 season will be posted in mid-May 2022.
  • Video Essay: Please record your answer to one of the questions below. This is an opportunity for you to share more of your personality and interests, or a side of yourself that may not be evident from other elements of the application. There is no right or wrong answer to any of the prompts. A minute or two is a good length for many applicants, but shorter or longer videos are welcome. While we understand that not everyone may be comfortable speaking to a camera, our best advice is “be yourself.”
    • What is a non-musical interest or activity that you are passionate about and why?
    • If you could choose any composer to write a concerto for you, whom would it be and why?
    • What is your favorite non-musical creative work (book, painting, poem, movie, etc.) and why does it speak to you?

Citizenship/Residency: NYO2 is open to US citizens or full-time US residents.

Age Limit: You must be between the ages of 14 and 17 during the summer of your participation. For 2022, this means that your birthdate must be between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2008, without exception.

Grade Level: Participation in NYO2 is limited to middle and high school students within the age range above. You must be enrolled in middle school, high school, or the equivalent level of homeschooling during the 2021–2022 academic year to be eligible for the 2022 NYO2 program. Gap-year students who graduated from high school in 2021 (or earlier) are not eligible.

Carnegie Hall and its national youth ensembles are committed to having a fully vaccinated building, including within our concert venues, Resnick Education Wing, offices, and all other spaces on our premises and other outside venues we occupy during the national youth ensemble program period.

This policy will enable all our programs to operate at full capacity while looking after everyone’s health and safety. Therefore, all applicants selected for NYO2 will need to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization in order to participate in the program. We will be sending detailed guidelines once musicians are accepted to the program. In the meantime, we are happy to answer any questions that you may have about these new protocols.

Invited students and their parent/guardian(s) are expected to arrange air or ground transportation to attend the NYO2 program, traveling to/from the New York City area on designated arrival and departure dates. Assistance to cover this travel cost is available in cases of financial need, and information about how to apply for a travel award will be provided to accepted applicants.

All other travel associated with participation in NYO2, including commercial flights to/from Miami, airport transfers, sightseeing excursions, and ground transportation for activities taking place outside of the Purchase College campus, is arranged and paid for by Carnegie Hall.

Carnegie Hall and its national youth ensembles are committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities. NYO2  welcomes qualified applicants with disabilities, whether or not they need reasonable accommodations. If you are an applicant with a disability who needs reasonable accommodations to complete this application, or if you have questions regarding reasonable accommodations, please contact nyo2@carnegiehall.org.

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, and Beatrice Santo Domingo.

Global Ambassadors: Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Leadership support for NYO2 is provided by Clarissa Alcock Bronfman and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Estate of Joan Eliasoph, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major support for NYO2 is provided by the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation, Ronald E. Blaylock and Petra Pope, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony B. Evnin and the A.E. Charitable Foundation, Clive and Anya Gillinson, the Marc Haas Foundation, Beth and Joshua Nash, Melanie and Jean E. Salata, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Founder Patron: Beatrice Santo Domingo.

Ernst & Young Logo

With additional funding provided by Alphadyne Foundation, Sarah Arison, Ernst & Young LLP, Stella and Robert Jones, Martha and Robert Lipp, Andrew J. Martin-Weber, Lauren and Ezra Merkin, the Morton H. Meyerson Family Foundation, Linda Wachner, David S. Winter, and Judy Francis Zankel.

National Endowment for the Arts: arts.gov

Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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